Assaults on binmen have doubled over the last three years
A record number of binmen are being physically abused by angry residents, confused over complex recycling regulations and restrictive rubbish measures.
Hundreds of attacks over the past year have been recorded by councils, including binmen being spat on and punched by homeowners.
Whilst some attacks have been child-like, others have been a lot more serious and have involved the use of guns and swords.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, have found that the number of incidents involving binmen has almost doubled over the last three years, from 159 in 2013, to 309 in 2016.
Triggers for such attacks have included binmen saying no to taking contaminated recycling rubbish, or that too many bags were put out for collection, or that bins contained too much of the wrong items.
Binmen have also come under attack from motorists, who get angry at being stuck behind their truck.
These new statistics have been released just as information emerged about the UK seeing its first ever ‘Big Brother’ Bin Police.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council have said that a six man team of Waste Minimisation Officers will travel alongside waste trucks, with the intention of rummaging through residents wheelie bins, to ensure that they are throwing away and recycling correctly.
The Local Government Association (LGA), have said that the attacks and abuse that binmen have to endure is unacceptable and in a bid to protect staff, they would consider pushing for prison sentences to be handed out in court.
Figures revealed in Freedom of Information responses from councils throughout England, show a 26% increase in attacks over the last two years.
The number of incidents have in fact risen year by year since 2012, from 117 to 309 in 2016.
Head of local government at trade union, Unison, Heather Wakefield, said: “No one should have to suffer verbal abuse, threats of violence or physical attack because of the job they do. Councils should adopt a zero-tolerance approach to anyone who tries to abuse or intimidate their staff in this way.”
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